I've been reading this text:

When you define a type, you can define static data fields within it. The bytes that back these static data fields are allocated within the type objects themselves. Finally, inside each type object is a method table with one entry per method defined within the type. This is the method table that was discussed in Chapter 1.

Richter, Jeffrey (2010-02-05). CLR via C# (Kindle Locations 3546-3548). OReilly Media - A. Kindle Edition.

However, the bolded text made me confused. Should it be inside of instead of inside?


No, inside as a preposition meaning "within the interior of something" is correct here. The phrase the inside of X uses inside as a noun, meaning "interior or inner part". "Inside of each type object is a method table" has minor grammar problems such as no article for inside. One could pedantically, properly, and verbosely say "The inside of each type object contains a method table", but just saying "Inside each type object is a method table" is both correct and direct.

  • Isn't inside in "inside of something" means the same thing as "interior or inner part" ? – Tarik Apr 17 '12 at 2:37
  • +1: Here is an Ngram showing that when it starts a sentence (note the capital letter), "Inside the ..." is much more common than "Inside of the". Here, we know that inside is a preposition because it starts a sentence. If inside were a noun, it would be "The inside of the ...", and you would need to use of. However, I believe (and Ngrams confirms) that inside of is occasionally used as a preposition in American English, where it is synonymous with inside. – Peter Shor Apr 17 '12 at 2:41
  • Note, above comments were written while I was overhauling my answer, but I think they still apply. @Peter, I also added a the in "the phrase the inside of X uses inside as a noun" for the latter reason you mention, inside of occasionally being prepositiony. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Apr 17 '12 at 2:47
  • 1
    I am pretty sure that inside of can be a preposition in the U.S., but I don't believe you can use inside of as a preposition in the U.K. Looking at the Google hits for "him inside of the", they seem to be virtually all American. And even in American English, inside is much more common as a preposition than inside of. – Peter Shor Apr 17 '12 at 2:56

As @jwpat7 says, inside is normally used as a "standalone" preposition. But I don't think there's anything inherently "ungrammatical" about using inside of in this way, and it was certainly far from unknown a century ago...

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Today though, unless the context is a noun usage (the inside of something), omit the "of".

  • Compare the British and American Ngrams for "placed inside of the". I'd say "inside of" is still O.K. informally as a preposition in the U.S. today (although it's dying out), but I'm not sure it has ever been acceptable in the U.K. – Peter Shor Apr 17 '12 at 17:04
  • @Peter Shor: That agrees with your comment to jwpat7's answer, saying prepositional inside of is primarily American. As a Brit I have to say I don't find it that objectionable, even though it's non-standard. My reason for posting was simply to make the point that this isn't really a 100% right/wrong issue - it's really a matter of idiomatic choice regarding the prepositional usage which as you say (said?!) didn't even exist until a couple of hundred years ago. – FumbleFingers Apr 17 '12 at 17:56

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